By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
GARDENDALE — The victim of a Thursday crash on Gardendale's north side has been identified.
Joel Neely, 35, of Gardendale was injured when his motorcycle ran into a car near the intersection of Mt. Olive Road, Mt. Olive Boulevard and Belcher Hill Road on Thursday afternoon.
The crash occurred just as a crowd was leaving the nearby north campus of Gardendale First Baptist Church after graduation ceremonies for Mortimer Jordan High School, and just before another graduation would take place that evening for Gardendale High.
Neely was taken by Life Saver helicopter to UAB Hospital in downtown Birmingham. The crash backed up traffic going eastbound on Mt. Olive Road, which was blocked while the helicopter took Neely away. The northbound exit ramp from Interstate 65 to Mt. Olive Road was also backed up with traffic.
According to Gardendale Police spokesman Lt. Brian Lynch, Neely remained hospitalized Friday afternoon in guarded condition.
The passengers of the car involved in the crash were not hurt.